Transcript of PM Lee Hsien Loong’s remarks at the joint press conference with US Vice President Kamala Harris on 29 March 2022. PM Lee was on a working visit to the US from 26 March to 2 April 2022.
Vice President Kamala Harris
Ladies and Gentlemen
I thank Vice President for her very warm remarks. We last met in August in Singapore, and we continued with a very good conversation this afternoon, reaffirming the longstanding and robust partnership between the two countries. We also discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and reiterated our shared commitment to a stable, rules-based global order.
The US has played an important and constructive role in the Asia-Pacific for nearly 80 years. Singapore has consistently supported a strong US presence in the region, both through words and actions.
Our two countries enjoy close economic relations.
Our US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA), signed in 2004, nearly 20 years ago, was the US’ first FTA with an Asian country. Singapore is home to nearly 5,500 US companies, and US FDI stock in Singapore exceeds US investments in China, India and the Republic of Korea combined. Singapore is also the second largest Asian investor in the US.
So, Singapore’s investments in the US, and US exports to Singapore support more than a quarter million US jobs.
Our security and defence ties go back many decades. We are a Major Security Cooperation Partner of the US.
Our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed in 1990 and renewed recently in 2019, provides the US military with access to Singapore’s air and naval bases. Vice President Harris visited the Littoral Combat Ship USS Tulsa at our Changi Naval Base when she visited Singapore. And she could see first-hand how Singapore supports the US military presence and its defence engagements in the region.
Singapore also has one of the largest foreign training presences in the US. We are grateful for US support for the air force training, which we conduct with detachments in Arizona and Idaho.
And we continue to work together to jointly face challenges on the horizon, deepening defence cooperation in areas such as cyber defence, artificial intelligence and joint training with the F-35s.
New Areas of Cooperation
The Vice President and I reviewed progress on the substantial agenda of deliverables announced on her visit last year. We established a bilateral Cyber Dialogue to work together on critical infrastructure protection, data security and sharing of best practices in support of a rules-based multilateral order in cyberspace. We are expanding the MOU between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to deepen collaboration in green and sustainable infrastructure projects in the region. And as the Vice President told you, Singapore has signed the Artemis Accords, which aims to promote the peaceful, sustainable and beneficial use of space. We are the first Southeast Asia country to sign on, and we had a good discussion about this because Vice President chairs the White House National Space Council.
So I am very glad that the Vice President and I were able to meet again, and discuss ways to take our partnership to even greater heights, and we look forward to the next occasion to meet the Vice President once more, either in Washington or at home in Singapore. Thank you very much.
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